BASICS

arrow_drop_down What is the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science?   ¶

The MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science is a stand-alone certification program offered by MITx that is designed and administered by the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) and supported by the MIT Office of Digital Learning (ODL).

The MITx MicroMasters credential consists of four intensive online courses providing learners with both the foundational knowledge essential to understand the methods and tools used in data science and with hands-on practice implementing and experimenting with data analysis techniques and machine learning algorithms. Along with these four courses is one virtually-proctored capstone exam.

It is important to note that the MicroMasters is NOT a degree-granting program, nor is it a guarantee of admissions to MIT or to any of the IDSS graduate programs. It is a separate stand-alone professional certificate offered by MITx and delivered by edX. Read more or enroll on edX here.

More information on the IDSS academic programs can be found here.

arrow_drop_down What are the four online courses required for the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science?   ¶

There are four online courses and a capstone exam required to complete the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science.

  • 6.431x Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data
  • 14.310x/14.310Fx- Data Analysis in Social Science
  • 18.6501x Fundamentals of Statistics
  • 6.86x Machine Learning with Python: from Linear Models to Deep Learning

To be eligible for the MicroMasters certificate, you must earn a Verified Certificate in each course and pass the comprehensive exam. Read more about verification here.

arrow_drop_down How do I enroll in the credential, and do I need to have an undergraduate degree?   ¶

There is no formal enrollment in the MicroMasters credential. Instead, you should register for each individual course as your schedule permits. Course enrollments are open to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. There are no prerequisites or undergraduate degrees required to enroll.

Given that these are graduate-level quantitative courses, we suggest you have a grasp of single and multi-variable calculus and linear algebra, as well as being comfortable with mathematical reasoning and Python programming.

In order to complete the credential, you do need to enroll as a verified learner in each of the courses and the capstone exam. Read more about course verification on edX here.

arrow_drop_down Do I need to be a verified learner to earn the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science?   ¶

Yes. You must successfully pass and receive a Verified Certificate in each of the four courses and the capstone exam. Learn more about verified certificates here.

arrow_drop_down How much does the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science cost, and is there financial aid available?   ¶

The cost to take each course is US $300. The capstone exam cost is US $300. EdX offers financial aid to learners who qualify. You can learn more and find out if you qualify here.

arrow_drop_down When is the next MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science offered?   ¶

The next run of each course are also listed in the MITx MicroMasters dashboard.

arrow_drop_down Are these classes occurring again?   ¶

Yes, the courses will be running in the future, in order to provide learners flexibility and opportunities to complete and schedule their coursework.

Here are some future run dates for the courses that may help you decide how you would like to structure your course schedule:

SDS Schedule 2020

For example, if you take one a semester you could proceed with a schedule like this:
6.431 this Fall 2018
14.310- Spring 2019
18.6501x - Summer 2019
6.860x - Fall 2019
DS-CFX - Spring 2020

The next run of each course are also listed in the MITx MicroMasters dashboard.

arrow_drop_down How long does it take to complete the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science?   ¶

On average, we expect our learners to take about 12-18 months to complete the credential.

arrow_drop_down How much time should I expect to spend on each MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science course?   ¶

Each course in the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science runs for between 13 and 16 weeks. Learners with appropriate background can expect to spend roughly 12-14 hours per week on each course.

arrow_drop_down Is there a time limit to finish the MicroMasters program in Statistics and Data Science?   ¶

Each course will be offered multiple times over the next three academic years. On average, we expect our learners to take about 12-18 months to complete the credential.

arrow_drop_down Is there any way to reduce the time needed to take and pass the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science courses and exam?   ¶

To earn the MicroMasters Credential, you need to successfully earn a verified certificate in all MITx MicroMasters Credential in Statistics and Data Science online courses when they are scheduled and then pass the virtually-proctored exam. The courses are on an instructor-paced schedule rather than self-paced, so there is no way to reduce the time in each course.

However, learners may take 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science) concurrently with 18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics) or 6.86x (Machine Learning with Python). This will allow you to complete the credentialing process earlier.

arrow_drop_down Are courses given in real time, or pre-recorded?   ¶

All courses are pre-recorded. Lessons are released according to a calendar specific to each course. The calendar will be posted in the beginning of each course.

arrow_drop_down May I take one of the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses even though I have not taken its prerequisite?   ¶

There are no prerequisites for any of the courses. However, we strongly recommend the completion of “Multivariable Calculus” on MIT OpenCourseWare before starting any of the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses.

We encourage you to take the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses in this order:

  • 6.431x Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data (Introduction to Probability)
  • 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science)
  • 18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics)
  • 6.86x (Machine Learning with Python)

At your discretion, to finish in a reduced time, 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science) may be taken in conjunction with either 18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics) or 6.86x (Machine Learning with Python) as a standalone class.

arrow_drop_down What are the prerequisites for the program? Is one course a prerequisite for another course?   ¶

There are no formal prerequisites for any of the courses. However, we strongly recommend the completion of “Multivariable Calculus” on MIT OpenCourseWare before starting any of the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses.

Please note, Python will not be taught in these courses. We expect proficiency in Python coming in. Learners should be familiar with and understand Python before pursuing course 6.86x, where it will be used to implement machine learning algorithms.

To succeed in the program, learners are strongly recommended to complete coursework from Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python (6.0001) or if possible: Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science (6.0002).

arrow_drop_down Is there an order in which I need to take the courses?   ¶

These courses build on one another. We encourage you to take them in this order:

  1. 6.431x Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data (Introduction to Probability)
  2. 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science)
  3. 18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics)
  4. 6.86x (Machine Learning with Python)

At your discretion, to finish in a reduced time, 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science) may be taken in conjunction with either 18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics) or 6.86x (Machine Learning with Python) as a standalone class.

arrow_drop_down May I use two or more different accounts for the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses?   ¶

No. Each edX learner should have a single edX ID (username and email account) that must be used in the four MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses and also in the final comprehensive exam. In fact, using two different edX accounts within the same course are grounds for expulsion from the course.

arrow_drop_down Do I need to take a course in order to take the exam?   ¶

Yes. You will need to obtain a passing grade in each course in order to be eligible to take the final cumulative exam.

arrow_drop_down May I repeat a course for a better score?   ¶

Yes, you may repeat a course as many times as you wish. In order for a course to count toward the MicroMasters Credential, the passing course must be taken as an I.D. verified learner. Verification fees are not transferable across courses.

arrow_drop_down After passing the courses, what else do I need in order to earn the MITx MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science Credential?   ¶

You need to take and pass the virtually-proctored capstone exam.

arrow_drop_down What are the key concepts covered in each course?   ¶

6.431x (Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data) is an introduction to probabilistic models, including random processes and the basic elements of statistical inference, and covers the foundations of data science.

14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science) covers the methods for harnessing and analyzing data to answer questions of cultural, social, economic, and policy interest.

18.6501x (Fundamentals of Statistics) helps learners to develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin statistical inference: estimation, hypothesis testing, and prediction.

6.86x (Machine Learning with Python) is an in-depth introduction to the field of machine learning, from linear models to deep learning and reinforcement learning, with hands-on Python projects.

The course pages can be found here: https://www.edx.org/micromasters/mitx-statistics-and-data-science#courses

arrow_drop_down What if I have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters course or exam?   ¶

If you have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters course or exam, please contact micromasters-support@mit.edu as early as possible.

COURSES

arrow_drop_down I took Introduction to Probability: The Science of Uncertainty (6.041x) at a previous time and I earned a verified certificate. Do I also have to take the probability course (6.431x) that is now part of the MicroMasters program?   ¶

No! If you’ve earned a verified certificate in 6.041x in an earlier run, you are already on your way to earning the MicroMasters credential. Your existing verified certificate will count. You should receive an email confirmation from MITx if you are one of these learners, but please also check your edX Program Dashboard to verify your standing. If you do not see indication that your certificate has been applied, please contact us and send us a link to your certificate.

Additional details that may apply to you:

  • Learners who took the course prior to 2016 may not see their grade appear along with their certificate on their program dashboard. This will not have any impact on your standing, and your grade in the course still exists. This is simply a result of some behind-the-scenes processing.
  • In 2017, this course was split into two parts. You must have earned a verified certificate in both parts for the course to count toward the MicroMasters program. Similarly, these learners may not see their grades appear on the program dashboard.

arrow_drop_down I took Introduction to Probability: The Science of Uncertainty (6.041x) at a previous time as an auditor or I received a free honor code certificate. Do I have to take the probability course (6.431x) that is now part of the MicroMasters again?   ¶

Yes, you will need to re-take the course as a verified student. Unfortunately, because auditors and honor code learners did not go through the edX verification process, we cannot count that progress toward your MicroMasters. However, we are happy to provide you with a discount of 50% to re-take the course. Please check for an email from MITx with the applicable discount code if you are one of these learners. If you do not receive the email and believe you are eligible for the discount, please contact us.

arrow_drop_down When is the exam for 6.431x? How long do I have to take the exam?   ¶

The final exam is tentatively scheduled to be released on December 12th and open for roughly a week. Learners are free to start the exam anytime during this week.

arrow_drop_down How are the courses scheduled? How often are assignments due?   ¶

Assignments are often due weekly, and the release dates of the materials are correlated with these deadlines. Once you audit a course, you will have access to the syllabus and then decide if the assignment schedule will work for you.

arrow_drop_down Is there any operating system or software requirements for the courses?   ¶

There is no specific operating system preferred. If you search for the items that need to be downloaded you will find the operating systems to download them for.

Besides R and Python, learners will need to download extra packages such as pytorch for machine learning course, and a software for virtual proctoring for the capstone exam.

For example Python is almost every OS such as Windows, Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, etc:

https://www.python.org/downloads/

https://www.python.org/download/other/

arrow_drop_down Will I have access to the material after the course ends?   ¶

Videos, transcripts for videos and slides are generally (with exceptions) available for download. Learners will have access to the course material in archived mode once courses are finished. This may mean that videos are available but assessments, such as lecture and recitation exercises, homeworks, and exams, are not.

arrow_drop_down Which classes require R and which classes require Python?   ¶

Python will be used in 6.686x, and R is covered in 18.6501x. Please note, it is assumed learners are comfortable with Python before starting this MicroMasters program. R will be reviewed.

arrow_drop_down Do I have to take 14.310x again if I have taken and passed the assessment as part of the DEDP MicroMasters?   ¶

If you have taken the 14.310x course and passed the proctored exams as a verified learner, you will not need to retake the course. However, you will need to pay for and take our assessment exam as part of the MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science in order to receive a certificate for the course.

To clarify, the MicroMasters programs in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) and in Statistics and Data Science (SDS) are two independent programs. The cost of each class in DEDP (including the proctored exam) is between $100 and $1000 dollars, depending on learners' ability to pay, while SDS has fixed price, which is $300 per course. Their certificates will not be interchangeable. If you are going to the SDS path, please enroll in the content course 14.310x - Data Analysis for Social Scientists (Note: There is no additional fee to enroll in the content course) and enroll in and pay for the assessment course; complete the content course 14.310x with a passing grade, then come back to the assessment course and take the exam to earn your verified certificate that will count toward the MicroMasters credential in SDS.

arrow_drop_down What is the difference between 14.310 and 14.310Fx (Data Analysis in Social Science)?   ¶

14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science) covers the methods for harnessing and analyzing data to answer questions of cultural, social, economic, and policy interest. 14.310Fx is an assessment that tests your knowledge on the course content from 14.310x (Data Analysis in Social Science).

CREDENTIALS AND VERIFIED CERTIFICATES

arrow_drop_down Will I earn a separate certificate for each course or just one for the entire MicroMasters Credential?   ¶

You will receive an individual Verified Certificate for each MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science course that you pass as a verified learner. Read more about course certificates here.

Learners who pass the capstone exam after completing all four MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science courses will receive a MicroMasters Credential certificate. View a sample certificate here.

arrow_drop_down Does completion of the MicroMasters Credential guarantee admission to IDSS Graduate programs at MIT?   ¶

No. While your performance in the MicroMasters coursework and proctored exams will play a very important role in determining admissions, it won't be the only criterion we take into account.

Learners who successfully complete this MITx MicroMasters credential have the opportunity to apply to the MIT Doctoral Program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) offered through the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) during the SES admissions cycle (due date: December 15). Credentialed learners will be able to use their credential to demonstrate their preparation in statistics and data science fundamentals to the SES Admissions Committee.

Learners admitted to SES can expect that their MITx MicroMasters coursework will help prepare them for the SES core classes, and in many cases may also be applied toward the SES Information, Systems, and Decision Science requirements. More information on the MIT SES Doctoral Program can be found here (https://idss.mit.edu/academics/ses_doc/).

arrow_drop_down How do I earn a Verified Certificate? ? When is the deadline to pay and verify for the course?   ¶

To earn a verified certificate for an online course, you need to pay the fee and verify for the course within the first four weeks and then successfully complete the course and the virtually proctored exam. The verified certificate costs US $300 per course in the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science. The virtually proctored exam is also US $300 and requires you to verify your identity using a webcam and a government-issued ID, so employers and schools know that you, and only you, completed the coursework.

arrow_drop_down Which institution issues the verified certificate?   ¶

Certificates are issued by edX under the name of MITx and are delivered online through edx.org.

arrow_drop_down Is it sufficient to keep a "pass" grade in the course, or will the bar for achieving the MicroMasters be set higher?   ¶

The passing grade for each course is independent of the MicroMasters credential. The specific grade is set by the instructor and is usually 60% to pass. When applying to an MIT graduate program, we will use the actual scores in the admissions process – but that is independent of earning the MicroMasters credential.

arrow_drop_down How do I share my course certificate or MicroMasters credential with employers and schools? How can I prove completion of the MicroMasters?   ¶

You can add the individual course certificate, or MicroMasters credential in the education, certifications or accomplishments section of your resume or CV. If you wish to add the MicroMasters credential abbreviation to your title, use “ MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science.”

Your course certificate or MicroMasters credential will have an identifying code that you can also share via hyperlink following these directions.

To add your course certificate or MicroMasters credential to your LinkedIn profile, you may use the Education or Accomplishments sections of LinkedIn. Choose MITx as your certification authority under education or MIT IDSS under accomplishments.

arrow_drop_down How do I obtain official transcripts of my work?   ¶

The MITx MicroMasters credential is a professional certification. There are no official transcripts available at this time. You can share your MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science course certificates and MicroMasters credential from your edX dashboard following these directions.

If you are applying to any of the MIT IDSS programs, staff from the MicroMasters in MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science will generate a summary of your work at the time your application is accepted, and no additional action will be needed on your part. edX and its partner universities are currently working on a secure method to offer transcripts. More information will be available soon.

arrow_drop_down I've already taken Introduction to Probability when it was listed as 6.041x. Can I get credit for this course?   ¶

If you took 6.041x as a verified learner and passed before September 2018, you can receive credit for 6.431x Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data. You will still need to verify and pass the other MicroMasters courses and the cumulative final exam in order to complete the MicroMasters credential. When enrolling for the final exam, please inform the staff of when you took 6.041x.

Additionally, verified learners who have completed and passed 6.041x should spend time completing coursework on our recommended prerequisites: Multivariable Calculus (MIT OpenCourseWare) and becoming familiar (if not already) with Python. We recommend 6.00.1x as an introduction to Python.

Additionally, verified learners who have completed and passed 6.041x should spend time completing coursework on our recommended prerequisites: Multivariable Calculus (MIT OpenCourseWare) and becoming familiar (if not already) with Python. We recommend 6.00.1x as an introduction to Python.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AT MIT IDSS AND OTHER UNIVERSITIES

arrow_drop_down What are the paths to earning a PhD Degree from MIT IDSS?   ¶

Learners who successfully complete the MITx MicroMasters credential have the opportunity to apply to the MIT Doctoral Program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) offered through the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) during the SES admissions cycle (due date: December 15). Credentialed learners will be able to use their credential to demonstrate their preparation in statistics and data science fundamentals to the SES Admissions Committee.

Learners admitted to SES can expect that their MITx MicroMasters coursework will help prepare them for the SES core classes, and in many cases may also be applied toward the SES Information, Systems, and Decision Science requirements. More information on the MIT SES Doctoral Program can be found here (https://idss.mit.edu/academics/ses_doc/).

arrow_drop_down How will having the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science change the admissions process for the Statistics, Social and Engineering Systems, and Technology and Public Policy full-time graduate programs?   ¶

Having the MicroMasters credential provides the admissions committee with significant insight into a learner’s capabilities through the completion of four online courses and one virtually-proctored cumulative exam. We encourage learners to note the completion of MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters credential in their application, which the admissions committee will take into consideration. Information on the Doctoral programs at MIT IDSS.

arrow_drop_down What universities accept the MicroMasters credential for university credit?   ¶

Learners who successfully earn the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science are now eligible to earn credit at a number of universities across the globe to fast track their pursuit of a full Master’s degree. Here is a list of these universities and information on the amount of credit offered.

Credit from the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science can count towards course requirements for learners admitted to the SES PhD Program.

arrow_drop_down Will I have the opportunity to meet the instructors or other learners at any point?   ¶

Yes. Staff can arrange meetups in your region. Instructors and staff will be available via virtual hangouts. If there is enough demand, there may also be meetups in the MIT area.

arrow_drop_down How can I contact the faculty member in charge of the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science program?   ¶

Please direct all questions about the MITx MicroMasters credential in Statistics and Data Science to sds-mm@mit.edu. If your question is about a particular class that you are enrolled in, you can contact the course teams by emailing the address listed on the “About” page for each course.

arrow_drop_down Is the MITx MicroMasters credential transferable to other university for credit?   ¶

Yes, it will not only be MIT that will grant credit, there are also a number of universities offering credit for MITx MicroMasters programs.

Once you receive the MITx MicroMasters credential, you can apply to these Master’s programs; upon acceptance, your MITx MicroMasters credential will translate into credits toward the Master’s degree, allowing you to accelerate the completion of your graduate studies at one of these universities. To find out which universities are offering credit, please visit here.

arrow_drop_down Will MIT add more credit pathway schools in the future?   ¶

Yes, we continue to work with universities globally to grow the pathway credits for MicroMasters credentials. Please continue to visit our website for updates.

arrow_drop_down What if a learner has a desired school for Master’s program but not currently on our pathways list?   ¶

We would love to know and to perhaps build a credit pathway with this school. Please connect with us at mitx.micromasters@mit.edu.

CAPSTONE EXAM

arrow_drop_down What is a virtually-proctored exam?   ¶

A proctored exam is a supervised exam taken online. A proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. A proctor is a liaison between edX and its learners who ensures that testing is done under fair and secure conditions. The proctor’s main responsibilities include verifying a government-issued photo ID, monitoring learners during the exam to ensure they do not use unauthorized aides, and ensuring learners follow the instructions outlined by the instructor.

arrow_drop_down What will the virtually-proctored exam be like?   ¶

Virtually-proctored learners will take the final exam from their own computers and be able to open each section of the exam for a pre-determined, set amount of time.

The exam is designed to test broad learning across the four courses. The questions are designed according to the limitations presented in the exam: limited time, and limited accessibility. The main purpose is to test your understanding of the key concepts from all four courses. A score of 60% will be considered passing.

arrow_drop_down What will I need for the exam?   ¶

  • A government-issued photo ID that clearly identifies you by your full name, and that can be used to confirm your identity
  • A computer that meets all system requirements to use the edX platform

arrow_drop_down Where is the proctored exam?   ¶

The exams are offered virtually via the edX platform. Most people will take the exams virtually from their own computer.

arrow_drop_down What do I need to be aware of with virtual proctoring software?   ¶

  • Computers used for virtual proctoring must comply with these system requirements
  • For virtual exam-takers, Windows XP and Microsoft Surface laptops, and mobile devices or tablets do not work with the virtual proctoring software.
  • learners will not need software other than R and Python

More details on virtual proctoring can be found at the edX learner guide

arrow_drop_down What if I have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters course or exam?   ¶

If you have a disability-related request regarding accessing a MicroMasters course or exam, please contact micromasters-support@mit.edu as early as possible.

Instructors